Since much Pilates and yoga clothing, and portable gear such as bags and mats, is the same for both practices, whenever a Yoga Journal Conference happens near me I like to explore the vendor market. I scope out what's new and fun in the world of Pilates and yoga clothes and such, and report back to you, dear reader.
Here are my snapshots and notes on the Pilates and yoga clothes and gear that jumped out as special at the Yoga Journal Conference 2012. These are not endorsements or reviews -- these products are just what caught my eye at the time.
Please click on images to make them larger
The Daisy Tree booth was one of my faves at the show. Every time I passed by, the bright colors and happy prints made me smile. The Daisy Tree hand-makes things to wrap up your stuff and keep you contained (maybe that's why I liked it) -- yoga mat wraps, head wraps, wrist wraps for keys, even coffee cup wraps.
The modern print fabrics are embroidered with the OM symbol or Japanese characters for things like happiness, love, and strength. Of course I launched into a lecture about how they should expand their line to include Pilates images. I suggested a teaser or plank silhouettes since those are so recognizable and cross-over well with yoga. I think they are going to do it. We'll keep our eyes open.
wraps from $24.00
How often do you get to buy something feminine, exotic, and practical? I loved the delicate look of the burnout fabric tops, but also appreciated that they stretch, lend some warmth, and can be tied various ways for interesting effects.
I believe what we are seeing here is the "bat wing" cardigan tied all around our vendor/model for the day, with the snake wrap in the inset. The snake wrap is like a scarf with arms. All very elegant.
$59.00 - $95.00
Related review: Breezy Cardigan from Gaiam.
I usually take note of which clothing booths seem to be attracting the most interest from buyers. The OM Collection was certainly hot this year at the Yoga Journal Conference.
For want of a better phrase, I've dubbed this line "edgy-romantic". It caught my eye with clothes that looked comfortable for Pilates or yoga, but were also very creative. There were "bloomers" ruched at the bottom (I saw these on workshop students and they looked great), tops with big keyhole backs or lots of straps arranged in interesting ways, and workout pants with the cover-up skirt attached.
average prices: tops: $40.00 - $55.00, pants: $108.00 - $150.00
This big gym bag, called the Aaron, is the closest thing to traditional fashion that I saw at the event. It has even been featured in Vogue magazine. It definitely has a presence all it's own. The company was probably wise to leave the python version back in Miami and show up at the yoga conference with the somewhat more benign nylon/leather trim version.
No doubt this bag is large enough to carry what you need in a day; and a stylish way to travel. My question was, "Will a yoga mat really fit in the bottom compartment?" Yes it will. The vendor told me they got the biggest heavy weight yoga mat at the show to fit in there. I checked with a few of the fashion yoga gals who had bought the bag as well.
Only sections of the large graphics that once sold consumers on some other items show, but they make a powerful and creative statement.
Unroll one of these mats in Pilates or yoga studio and you will definitely make little splash. Bright colors and fun patterns made these Pilates or yoga mats stand out big time. Those I saw were more energizing than calming, which is fine, but there several patterns to choose from online -- wings, spirals, and messages like "peace" and "breathe" abound.
I did try the mat. It's thick enough for a portable Pilates mat and sticky enough for most yoga.
Note to studio owners: If you order 50 or more, you can get custom designs printed on mats to sell at your studio.